For help, advice and discussion about stuff not related to aviation. Play nice: no religion, no politics and no axe grinding please.
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User avatar
By Irv Lee
#1850666
Dave W wrote:If you are not aware, you can register for sending texts to 999.

That's how I plan to pass a What3Words location if I need to: From within the W3W App, you can share your location by text.

I had wondered the other day if 999 could be sms'd - nothing to do with W3W, just wondering in bad signal areas.
As for W3W UK user:
When informed they could have done that if pre-registered, but unfortunately the chopper is now tasked to miles away, they would probably say "Ashudda fought ovvat"
Dave W liked this
User avatar
By Genghis the Engineer
#1850917
Irv Lee wrote:
Dave W wrote:If you are not aware, you can register for sending texts to 999.

That's how I plan to pass a What3Words location if I need to: From within the W3W App, you can share your location by text.

I had wondered the other day if 999 could be sms'd - nothing to do with W3W, just wondering in bad signal areas.
As for W3W UK user:
When informed they could have done that if pre-registered, but unfortunately the chopper is now tasked to miles away, they would probably say "Ashudda fought ovvat"


If you dial 999, some fairy magic in the phone system will connect you with a strong signal, even if there are apparently no bars to be used in the normal 3G/4G system. I proved this very conclusively when I landed an Auster in a ploughed field miles from anywhere in the middle of Lincolnshire a few years ago. Total inability to phone my wife or the aircraft owner, perfect connection to the emergency switchboard.

G
User avatar
By Paul_Sengupta
#1850924
All that means is that you had a better signal on a different mobile network to your own. A phone is unconstrained by your contract on a network when it comes to an emergency call. You can see this as if you can't get your own network but can pick up another one, your phone often states, "Emergency calls only".
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By Rjk983
#1851238
Boxkite wrote:
Examples included:

jump.legend.warblers which was in Vietnam
duties.factory.person was located in China
dignitary.fake.view turned out to be in India
refuse.housework.housebound was in Australia
middle.plugged.nourished was in the US
demand.heave.surprise was actually in Canada
flesh.unzip.whirlwind was in Russia

"It's a tool, and a tool is better than no tool, but people are being sent to the wrong location," he told the BBC.

Really? They sent a helicopter to India or Vietnam?


I take this set of examples as a strength of the system, not a weakness.

This is a built in gross error check. If the words given are to help find someone lost in the Lake District but point to a square in Vietnam then it is obviously wrong.

If the person needing help gives a six figure grid but gives eastings and northings in the wrong order they would be apparently correct but kilometres wrong.
By rdfb
#1851249
Rjk983 wrote:I take this set of examples as a strength of the system, not a weakness.

This is a built in gross error check. If the words given are to help find someone lost in the Lake District but point to a square in Vietnam then it is obviously wrong.


Further down in the same article, there are examples of where this doesn't work.

He found that the algorithm behind W3W often gave similar-sounding words and plural versions of words for locations in close proximity, which could cause confusion.

So, for example, circle.goal.leader and circle.goals.leader are less than 1.2 miles (2km) apart along the River Thames.


Not exactly a gross error check then, is it? The research also cited (not in this article) that SAR have been sent to the wrong place in practice by this kind of thing.
By Rjk983
#1851299
rdfb wrote:
Rjk983 wrote:I take this set of examples as a strength of the system, not a weakness.

This is a built in gross error check. If the words given are to help find someone lost in the Lake District but point to a square in Vietnam then it is obviously wrong.


Further down in the same article, there are examples of where this doesn't work.

He found that the algorithm behind W3W often gave similar-sounding words and plural versions of words for locations in close proximity, which could cause confusion.

So, for example, circle.goal.leader and circle.goals.leader are less than 1.2 miles (2km) apart along the River Thames.


Not exactly a gross error check then, is it? The research also cited (not in this article) that SAR have been sent to the wrong place in practice by this kind of thing.


Ok, “often” and “some” and then gives one example. Every single grid reference could be loused up and send the emergency services a few metres or tens of kilometres away.

I have many experiences on exercise and ops where people who have been trained in map reading and refreshed and tested every year get it wrong. Eastings then northings or northings then eastings? Electronic devices giving a 10 figure grid, what does the operator remove to turn it into a six figure grid? Don’t underestimate the ability of competent people to make mistakes under the pressure of an emergency. Let alone the amateur or occasional hill Walker who has maybe self taught map reading and not done it for a while. It isn’t rocket science and it is simple to get it right, up until the point when you get it wrong…

Personally I wouldn’t want to rely on w3w solely in an emergency, if you can get 3 words from your smart device then you can also get a GPS location or a grid ref, but it is an extra tool in the kit when the situation requires it. And used in combination with one of the others it can help confirm the locations are correct and the they haven’t become garbled in the transmission.

So I stand by my gross error check statement.
User avatar
By JonathanB
#1851306
Maybe the answer is to give two adjacent w3w references. That way they can be sure they go to the right place.

I’ve used it once successfully for a breakdown when I was in a lay-by.
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By rdfb
#1851980
Rjk983 wrote:Ok, “often” and “some” and then gives one example.


It was mentioned as an aside, so one example is suitable there. The actual article covering this is https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-56901363. The original research is https://cybergibbons.com/security-2/why ... lications/. From that, you can see that it's generally flawed, and not just an isolated case.

Yes, with lat/lon you need to be careful to avoid errors. But if you have to do this with W3W too, then what's the benefit?
By avtur3
#1852037
rdfb wrote:
Yes, with lat/lon you need to be careful to avoid errors. But if you have to do this with W3W too, then what's the benefit?


Both are subject to human error, but on the balance of probability I would have thought there to a better chance of remembering three words, than the string of numbers.
Rob P, Colonel Panic liked this
By Keveng
#1852205
rdfb wrote:
Rjk983 wrote:Ok, “often” and “some” and then gives one example.


It was mentioned as an aside, so one example is suitable there. The actual article covering this is https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-56901363. The original research is https://cybergibbons.com/security-2/why ... lications/. From that, you can see that it's generally flawed, and not just an isolated case.

Yes, with lat/lon you need to be careful to avoid errors. But if you have to do this with W3W too, then what's the benefit?


I guess that most people will understand 3 words given or received , however very few would be able to give or understand grid reference co ordinates , remember this may not only be used by professionals but the average person meeting a friend .
By rdfb
#1852237
Keveng wrote:I guess that most people will understand 3 words given or received , however very few would be able to give or understand grid reference co ordinates , remember this may not only be used by professionals but the average person meeting a friend .


Surely it doesn't matter if the person understands the system or not, as long as it comes out of one app, gets communicated, and gets put into another app?

I could arrange to meet you at "6MHH+9M Frome" for example. You might have no idea what system that's using. But put it into Google Maps and it'll work, and you don't need to care how that happened.

Sure, people might struggle to communicate funny symbols. But as long as they're numbers, letters or words, it's the same, if we take accuracy out of the equation (as argued already).
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